Over the years, the bluebird population has greatly decreased. Bluebirds, as many other animals, have suffered loss of habitat. They are cavity-nesters, that seek out hollows in decaying trees. Besides the fact that there are fewer trees left to decay, there are also 2 non-native birds (european starling and the house swallow) that are much more aggressive than the timid bluebird. They snatch the available nest sites, and even take over a nest that the bluebird has claimed (by cracking their eggs and killing the nestlings and/or the parents).
A number of years ago I noticed little wooden bird houses popping up in farmer’s fields in upstate New York. This was a part of a bluebird recovery effort. I was curious about this because I had never seen a bluebird and like to hear positive stories of human/animal interactions.
Last year when I visited the Berkshires, the neighbors next to my in-laws had several bluebird houses up in their backyard. They had several bluebird families living in them and I finally saw my first bluebird. If you have never seen one, you will be blown away at the beautiful shade of dark blue on their back feathers.
This year, my in-law’s neighbor gave them a nest box and now they too have bluebirds in their yard. In fact, I saw more bluebirds than any other bird while I was there this past weekend. I tried to photograph them, but didn’t get very close. My best attempt is below, but here’s a site with a lot of information and photos.